NAU D2 wins brawl against CSUN

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Posted: Wednesday, October 24, 2018 11:00 am

The NAU Ice Jacks faced California State University of Northridge (CSUN) on Oct. 19, and came out victorious in a high scoring game. The Ice Jacks won 6-4 and showed improvement with their penalty kills as two of the NAU goals scored were short-handed.

Tegan Harrington had one of the short-handed goals last night, as well as Zaven

Bablouzian. Both broke away for a one on one shot against CSUN goalie, Brandon Kalvoda. Harrington scored his short-handed goal in the five hole.

“I kind of just predicted how [Kalvoda] was going to move and he opened up his legs and it went in,” Harrington said. “Our penalty kill has come a long way this year and we have guys like Babs [Bablouzian] and a whole group of guys, where we apply a lot of pressure and are fast. So if they are not smart with the puck, we are going to take advantage of it.”

During the middle of the second period, CSUN pulled Kalvoda after three goals went in from NAU in three minutes and was replaced with Vincent Sepe. Two of the goals were from Lucas Lomax and the third was the short-handed goal completed by Bablouzian. Lomax credits his goals to his linemen, Malachi Bushey and Max Mahood. “They just do a good job of finding you when you get open,” Lomax said. “We have a good chemistry, so any time any of those guys have the puck I think we are dangerous in the offensive zone. We don’t have to see where they are to know where they are. It’s nice because you can find everybody out there and just kind of expose the other team when you have that kind of chemistry with your linemates."

The second period was full of small victories for NAU, even after a huge fight broke out between the two teams. A frustrated CSUN player, D.J. Howell, charged Ice Jacks’ goalie, Josh Nolan, knocking his helmet off. In response, several NAU players skated from the bench to retaliate against Howell. From the perspective of Harrington, aggression like that should not be tolerated. “All we saw was [Howell] run Josh and then we had two or three guys jump on him and just start pounding him, which is exactly what needs to happen,” Harrington said. “You cannot let guys get away with that. He was pissed off, but you can’t do that to our goalie. So he earned a couple crosschecks to the face.” Even though NAU was more than involved in the fight, the referees decided to only give a five minute penalty to Howell after his stunt. “We were a little surprised, but I think the refs understand that you can’t do that and expect to have nothing happen to you,” Harrington said.

The Ice Jacks played a very aggressive second period, but lost some of their drive in the third letting CSUN score three goals. There was definitely a loss of concentration, perhaps because of Howell’s charging penalty, and the Ice Jacks’ seemed to seek out more penalties allowing CSUN more opportunities to score. Luckily, they had a five-point lead so they still were able to finish out the game with a win. 

In the locker room after the game Lomax felt the tension after an unsuccessful third period. “It is a little rough right now,” Lomax said. “Everyone is a little upset about the fact that we let up as many goals as we did in the third period so everyone is a little on edge. I think wejust need to have a short-term memory here and scratch it and then come back tomorrow ready to work with a new attitude.”

The Ice Jacks’ next game was scheduled to be Utah State University on Oct. 20, but Utah canceled and they are currently working to bring Long Beach State to Jay Lively Activity Center to fill out the weekend.